Andrew Litton, conductor
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Andrew Litton Biography
Andrew Litton

Andrew Litton currently serves as Music Director of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy, France’s Diapason d’Or, and many British and other honors.

First appointed Bergen Philharmonic Music Director in 2003, Litton will have the distinguished honor to celebrate the orchestra’s 250th Anniversary in 2015. It is one of the world’s longest established orchestras. In recognition of Litton’s achievements with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald knighted Litton with the Royal Order of Merit. Under Litton’s leadership the Bergen Philharmonic has taken numerous tours, including debuts at the London BBC Proms and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and New York’s Carnegie Hall - the capstone of its first American tour in 40 years. Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic record for the BIS and Hyperion labels, and have won extraordinary critical acclaim for their Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev series.

In addition to his continuing work with Bergen and Colorado, Mr Litton opens this season with a flourish leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra of London first at the London Proms and then again with that orchestra to open its Barbican series of concerts. Litton also will make welcome returns to the BBC Scottish Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, and will make debuts with the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hannover, the Bremen Philharmonic, the Tampere Philharmonic and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere in the world, he returns to the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra with concerts in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Notably, last season, after collaborating in his student days as piano soloist with the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and Natalia Makarova, Litton returned to the world of ballet and conducted the New York City Ballet’s new production of Delibes Coppélia to great acclaim.

Conductor of many of the world’s top opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Australian Opera, Litton participated with the Bergen Philharmonic in founding the Bergen National Opera. Now its Artistic Advisor, Litton has conducted critically acclaimed, sold-out performances of Tosca, Carmen, Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. This season he conducts Aida having led a new production last year of Fidelio, directed by Oskaras Korsunovas. Litton also conducts Carmen with the Mannheim Opera as well.

An accomplished pianist, Litton often conducts from the keyboard and enjoys performing chamber music with his orchestra colleagues. Litton is recognized as an authority on Gershwin, having extensively performed and recorded as pianist and conductor Gershwin’s works in America, Asia and Europe. He led the Covent Garden premiere of Porgy and Bess and arranged his own concert Suite of that work now performed throughout the world. The University of Michigan has asked Litton to join a distinguished panel of Gershwin experts in developing a Critical Edition of all Gershwin works. Passionate about the music and playing of the late Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Litton just recorded his first solo piano album, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson, which was released on the BIS label.

Litton was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 1988-1994, bringing it on its first American tour and producing 14 recordings, including the Grammy winning Belshazzar’s Feast. Music Director of the Dallas Symphony from 1994-2006, he hired over one third of the players, led the orchestra on three major European tours, appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, created a children’s television series broadcast nationally and in widespread use in school curricula, produced 28 recordings, and helped raise the orchestra’s endowment from $19 million to $100 million. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Rachmaninov Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award. Litton also received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone.

Andrew Litton, a graduate of the Fieldston School, New York, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard in piano and conducting. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honors in addition to Norway’s Royal Order of Merit include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.

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Updated on 11 Sep 2014